As you might know by now, Toyota will bring a "compact people-mover" version of the hybrid Prius . And why not? The Prius has been a tremendous success forToyota and adding space for the kiddies cannot possibly be a bad idea. The car, set to be called the Alpha, is in its final stages of development and will be unveiled in March 2011. We can safely assume it will make its first appearance at the Geneva Motor Show . This will be the first vehicle in the Prius line to use lithium-ion batteries.
Based on the current Prius sedan platform, the future Alpha will grow in dimensions in order to accommodate an extra row of seats in the back: 300 mm in length and 20 mm in wheelbase.
The new Alpha will inherit the Prius’ 1.8-liter Atkinson-cycle petrol engine and THSII hybrid system, that together will develop a total of 135 HP. Fuel economy will likely be slightly less than the current Prius sedan’s 50 mpg combined, due to the Alpha’s extra size and weight.
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We do have to say that the Prius Alpha is not much on the eyes. We would much rather be seen in a Chevrolet Volt MPV5 , but unfortunately the public may not see the fruits of Chevy’s labor on that concept just yet since Chevy has not confirmed its production. Environmentalists and trendsetters alike may have to settle for the Alpha for now.